VOGONS


First post, by stamasd

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In my latest Win98SE build (based on an Abit KT7A motherboard) I can't get networking to work properly. I use a RTL8139D card with the driver package for Win98 which I downloaded from vogonsdrivers. The driver installs fine, no hardware conflicts etc.

When I boot the computer with a network cable connected (going to my router which runs OpenWRT), the boot never finishes. It stalls at the Win98 loading screen.

When I boot with the cable disconnected, it finishes booting. Using winipconfig, I see the NIC gets assigned one of the weird 169.x.x.x addresses. If I connect the network cable now and attempt to renew the IP, it works on it for about 5 minutes then fails. And so on repeatedly. The router's DHCP server is working fine with all my other devices.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 1 of 15, by Matth79

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Have you put the VIA 4 in 1 drivers in first?

Also, if you can get hold of one, the Intel Pro/100 ... 82558/82559 chipset cards are super - SUPER compatible, they work in things that just can't get along with the Realtek

Reply 2 of 15, by stamasd

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Yes all drivers are installed for everything. VIA 4-in-1, Nvidia (gf3Ti500), Yamaha for sound (OPL3-SAx ISA with Dreamblaster X2), Realtek for network. Nothing misses drivers, no hardware conflicts etc. I have had good luck with Realtek cards until now, but this w98 build doesn't seem to work.

I may have somewhere a 3com 3c905 to try but have to find it. It's probably in one of the many boxes in my basement which I haven't opened in the past 10 years or so.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 3 of 15, by 1541

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What happens if you set a static if for test purposes?
Will you get an IP if you boot from a Linux Live CD (to see if it's a Windows driver issue or if the network card has a hardware issue).
Do you have a router that denies unknown MAC addresses unless they are in the routers whitelist? Some routers have such a security feature.

German Windows 9x resources (service packs, drivers & NUSB)

Reply 4 of 15, by stamasd

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I'm not sure how to set a static IP in win98.
Booting a Linux CD is a good idea. I have to find one old enough though. My usual Linux distribution (Funtoo) is 64-bit only. Also, one that definitely supports hardware as old as the rtl8139 because I think it may not be supported by default on most modern live CDs.
No, I know my router well and I did not set a whitelist. I routinely connect all sort of gadgets to it and I never had a problem. I made a custom build of OpenWRT for it.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 5 of 15, by Jr_

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Recently it happened something like that to me also, except the stall part.

I solved this upgrading to a newer version of the Realtek8139 driver. Try that and give us some feedback.

my build

Reply 6 of 15, by konc

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To set a static ip to the pc you go to Control Panel-> Network-> Select the TCP/IP entry and then click Properties-> fill in the ip/dns/gateway tabs.

Another thing to try is to tell the router to always assign a specific ip to that PC's MAC. I know it still is DHCP and doesn't make sense but I've seen this to work.

Reply 7 of 15, by stamasd

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Ah yes I remember now
I'm about to finish burning an ubuntu 10.04 CD, hope it's old enough to support the hardware involved - to test.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 8 of 15, by stamasd

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Jr_ wrote on 2021-08-27, 09:41:

Recently it happened something like that to me also, except the stall part.

I solved this upgrading to a newer version of the Realtek8139 driver. Try that and give us some feedback.

Where do I get a newer version of the driver? There is only one version on vogonsdrivers, and a quick search only finds sites that want to scan for drivers and install the "latest driver pack" 😀

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 10 of 15, by stamasd

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Okay, Ubuntu 10.04 loads 8139 modules, but an eth0 interface does not appear in ifconfig -a, thus no network is available
I set a static IP manually in win98, including gateway and DNS, rebooted, and... no network access.

I think an issue is that in winipcfg, the card's MAC address is listed as FF-FF-FF-FF-FF-FF which is obviously wrong. The card may have a hardware problem.

I've just found and ordered on ebay a lot of several PCI network cards, which include a couple of Intel cards, a 3c905 and a few others (very cheaply fortunately). we'll see how those fare when they get here. I haven't been able to find and NICs in my stash - except for a 3c509, which I cannot use because this motherboard has only 1 ISA slot and it's already in use with the sound card.

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 11 of 15, by weedeewee

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stamasd wrote on 2021-08-27, 10:21:

I think an issue is that in winipcfg, the card's MAC address is listed as FF-FF-FF-FF-FF-FF which is obviously wrong. The card may have a hardware problem.

eeprom on the card probably got corrupted.

Reply 12 of 15, by stamasd

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Yeah. When I have time I'll take a look at the eeprom with a programmer because I may be able to fix that.

(edit) actually I may not even need to whip out the programmer. I found this: https://ywwang.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-to-ch … of-rtl8139.html and though the original link is dead, I found it in the Internet Archive https://web.archive.org/web/20080309041234/ww … red/RTL8139/PG/

If that pg8139.exe works, I should be set.

(edit2) grrr, the executable pg8139.exe was not saved in that archive - though the config files were. I was able to find the .exe at https://www.alloy.com.au/support/downloads/Al … CI/PG8139_util/

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 13 of 15, by MrD

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I have an RTL8139 card which also has some odd eeprom behaviour. (RTL8139 works in Win98SE, but unreliable in DOS (or DOS mode)?)

On the Realtek drivers page (https://www.realtek.com/en/component/zoo/cate … et-pci-software), you can find the "DOS Diagnostic program (RSET8139)". If you write this to a bootable floppy, you should be able to use it to write a stock failsafe eeprom configuration to the card. This might save you using an external programmer.

Reply 14 of 15, by stamasd

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It's fixed. The eeprom was not corrupted. The card simply didn't like being in that specific PCI slot. There were no conflicts and everything looked OK but it was just not working. I changed it to another slot (and installed another driver for good measure) and it started working. 😀

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 15 of 15, by Errius

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Glad to hear you solved the problem.

I had a similar issue with the machine I'm using now, which normally runs Windows 8.1, but which also has Windows XP installed. Integrated Realtek Ethernet. In XP, the network connection would work for a few minutes, then fail. Reconnecting the cable would get it to work again, but it would soon disconnect again. This would never end.

It turned out I was using a driver that was too new. I had to go back to a driver that was contemporary with the board. After installing the older driver the problem disappeared.

“I like to dissect PCs. Don't you know I'm utterly insane?"